Pakistan Proves to be Fertile Ground
Mobile banking, also known as branchless banking, is proving to be a huge success in Pakistan. Estimates are that by 2020, the market will grow from today’s 2% to 35%. The popularity of the platform and huge potential for growth have proven to be an impetus for banking and mobile carrier partnerships. For example:
• Mobicash, a partnership between microfinance bank Waseela and Mobilink;
• Upayment, a partnership between three banks and Ufone;
• Easypaisa, created by Tameer Microfinance Bank;
• Timepey Service, a partnership between Askari Bank and Zong;
• and Omini, owned by United Bank Limited.
Branchless Banking Benefits Consumers and Banks
The benefits of mobile banking extend to consumers and banks. The platform is very easy to use. Consumers need only a bank account and a mobile device – which today is just about everyone. Then, no matter where you are—home, office or on the road—you can manage your finances without difficulty. Consumers can utilize mobile banking platforms to access their accounts, transfer money, and make deposits and withdrawals. All they have to do is utilize one of the sophisticated, multi-channel platforms that provide ease and security.
The banking industry, who is being encouraged by the government to enhance their mobile banking offerings, are able to remain competitive. This is an especially critical benefit, especially in the current climate of alternative finance platforms. A secondary benefit for the banking industry is that mobile banking reduces their overhead, another plus in the hedge against alternative finance platforms. Saving money on overhead can translate to lower fees and interest rates for customers, keeping them competitive in a highly evolving financial services marketplace.
The Government is doing its Part to Push Mobile Banking Growth
To further strengthen Pakistan’s branchless banking industry, the government is using the platform to distribute government payments. A newly designed platform—e-Sahulat—is distributing funds to the general public and organizations. Experts look ahead to further government programs that will utilize and strengthen the country’s mobile banking industry.